Unorganized Closet Turned Propagation Station

2 Materials
2 Days

An unorganized and underutilized garage closet gets transformed into a propagation station and garden storage and organization zone for under $75!

Before we go any further, I must tell you about this little room. Well, actually, it's a closet in my garage. An underutilized, messy, chaotic, still-have-boxes-from-when-we-moved-in-eight-years-ago-and-never-unpacked-them, unorganized space. And I cannot believe I'm about to show you these before photos. It's kind of embarrassing. Well, not kind of. It is embarrassing. Am I the only one with a closet that looks like this? Please tell me I'm not the only one. I know. We can start a club. You can be the President and I'll be the Secretary. We'll call it the Messy Marvin Club and we'll meet quarterly to commiserate our messy closets and cabinets. We'll bemoan the woes of unorganized pantries. And then, we'll have snacks. Lots of good snacks. Of course. You can't have a club without good snacks. And we'll talk about Marie Kondo and the Home Edit and whether our messy closets bring us joy and rainbow color coordinating organization and all the clear bins. And then we'll have more snacks. Okay. I'm stalling. Here is the before photo.

This space was basically a drop zone for anything from beach supplies to garden gadgets. But, it was so messy and unorganized, we couldn't find anything and didn't really utilize it at all. It's actually a good size closet- about 8 feet long by 5 feet wide. And, bonus, it has a window.

Step 1: PurgeThe very first thing we had to do was clean this mess out! We purged, threw away, organized, and made sure we had a place for everything and everything in its place, relocated to our garage storage area.

Step 2: CleanAfter clearing all the junk and cleaning the closet, we were able to start with a blank slate. Step 3: Prime and Paint WallsI used Zinsser Primer to prime these particle board walls. Step 4: Paint the FloorSherwin Williams Porch and Floor paint leftover from a previous project covered stains and gave the space a fresh look.

Step 5: OrganizeI really needed a place to store garden supplies and also a place to start seed for the garden or to keep my cuttings---thus the propagation station idea. Last year, I tried starting trays and trays of seed in my dining room and not one plant lived. Not one. I needed a place where I can utilize heat mats and grow lights in order to start seed ahead of time. This space also needed to double as garden storage and organization.

Cost Breakdown

Did I keep the cost low as I had planned? Here's how it ended up:

  • Painting supplies: $5.26
  • Stackable Terazzo Storage Bins (2 sets of 2) $32.67
  • White metal basket $14.15
  • Plant Picture $4.89 (70% off at Hobby Lobby)
  • Gray Tote Bins (3 of them) $14.72

Total spent on this makeover was only $71.69! That's tax included! Like I said, I used what I had on hand as much as possible, re-purposed items, and only had to buy mostly storage and organization items. The pretty white metal basket came from TJ Maxx. I loved the depth of it and how sturdy it was! I found the gray totes at Big Lots.

Want to see more home and garden inspiration and DIY projects like this? Visit my blog The Daylily Cottage at

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Frequently asked questions
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  1 question
  • Erin Erin on Jan 31, 2021

    The best part: I’m not the only one who has boxes I’ve never unpacked from years ago.


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2 of 14 comments
  • P P on Feb 02, 2021

    nice job cleaning up & improving the closet! a tip that might help you with seed starting - some need to be 'nicked' with a metal nail file or snipped with a nail clipper - but all seemed to start for Grandaddy who put the trays on top of the refrigerator - the minor level of heat or maybe the minor vibration - seemed to help his seeds to 'start'!

  • Hrdwrknlady Hrdwrknlady on Feb 25, 2022

    So when can I expect you lol...that is a big WOW! I love your room and thank you for sharing it!